How to Clean Colored Grout (5 Easy and Quick Ways!)

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how to clean colored grout

Over time grout can build up dirt, soap scum, grease, and grime, making it look dull and dirty. While you may think your colored grout is doomed to live with this build-up, it’s actually just as easy to clean as white grout. 

The big difference is that with colored grout, you can’t use a product with bleach. Luckily, there are still many highly effective options.

The best way to clean colored grout is with a grout cleaner and a soft-bristled brush. If you don’t have any grout cleaner on hand, you can make some by combining baking soda, peroxide, and dish soap. Apply the mixture to your grout lines, scrub, and rinse off.

Scroll down to see the 5 best ways to clean colored grout.

Key Takeaways

Here’s our five top tips for cleaning colored grout:

  • Use water and a soft-bristled brush.
  • Make a paste out of baking soda and water.
  • Use vinegar and water spray.
  • Make a cleaning spray with baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and dishsoap.
  • Use a professional, commercial grout cleaner.

5 Ways to Clean Colored Grout

ways to clean colored grout

Try Water and a Soft-Bristled Brush

Many times all that’s needed to get grout clean is water and a soft-bristled brush. Scrubbing with a brush can loosen up dirt and stains, making the grout look new again.

If you’ve tried this and it’s not enough to make a difference, try one of the other suggestions on this list.

Remember, “I’ve found that using a soft-bristled toothbrush works really well when cleaning grout. It’s small enough to reach those tiny crevices and is gentle enough not to scratch your tiles. Just make sure it’s an old one that you don’t plan on using for your teeth again!

Make a Baking Soda Paste

Baking soda is mildly abrasive – this makes it a great stain remover that’s still gentle enough not to cause damage.

To clean your grout with baking soda, mix baking soda and water until a paste forms. Next, dip an old toothbrush into the paste and scrub on the grout lines. After you’re done scrubbing, rinse with water. Repeat if necessary.

In my experience, the baking soda and vinegar combination is a powerful grout cleaner. But don’t mix them together right away. First, scrub with the baking soda paste and rinse, then spray with vinegar and water. You’ll notice a bubbling reaction as the vinegar reacts with the baking soda – this is what helps lift the stubborn dirt!

Use Vinegar

Vinegar is acidic, which makes it good for cutting through dirt build-up and soap scum. If you’re cleaning colored grout on a shower wall, using vinegar can be helpful.

Here’s what to do:

Mix one part vinegar to two parts water and put in a spray bottle. Spray the vinegar all over the grout lines and tiles and scrub with a soft-bristled brush. For an extra clean, follow up the vinegar with a baking soda paste, scrub, and rinse with water.

Important note: Since vinegar is acidic and can eat away at unsealed grout, you’ll want to use vinegar only occasionally for cleaning. 

Try a Homemade Grout Cleaner

If you like making your own cleaners, give this recipe a try.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need:

  • 0.5 Cup Baking Soda
  • 0.25 Cup of Hydrogen Peroxide
  • 1.5 TSP Dawn Dishsoap

In an empty squeeze bottle, add the baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. Shake to combine. Now add the dish soap and shake again.

Apply this mixture to your grout lines, let it sit for 1-2 minutes, and then scrub with an old toothbrush. After cleaning, rinse with water.

For those tough stains on your colored grout, before you resort to commercial cleaners, try leaving the baking soda and hydrogen peroxide mixture on the grout lines for around 15-20 minutes before scrubbing. I’ve found that it helps to break up the dirt and stains, making it easier to clean. Remember though, always rinse well and dry your tiles afterwards to avoid moisture buildup!

Use a Commercial Grout Cleaner

While you can probably get your colored grout clean using items you already have in your house, many commercial grout cleaners work well.

It’s essential, though, to make sure you purchase one of these cleaners specially made for colored grout. Cleaners made for white grout may contain bleach.

Here are some solid options to consider:

Frequently Asked Questions

faq how to clean colored grout

How can I prevent my colored grout lines from looking dirty?

If you constantly have to clean your grout lines, you probably need to seal your grout. Grout sealers create a barrier that prevents dirt and stains from settling in. You should seal your grout lines once per year – ideally after a deep cleaning.

Can you use Oxiclean on colored grout?

Yes, since Oxiclean doesn’t contain bleach, it is safe to use on colored grout. To do so, mix Oxiclean with warm water per the instructions on the back of the package. Then, dip an old toothbrush into the mixture and scrub your grout lines. Rinse with water afterward.

Does toothpaste clean grout?

White, non-gel toothpaste can clean grout. 

To try this, simply scrub the grout with toothpaste and an old toothbrush. This method works great for white grout. However, before using it on colored grout, do a spot test to ensure there are no adverse reactions.


If you’re wondering how to clean colored grout, you have many options. The most important thing is to avoid cleaners that contain bleach. Instead, try a commercial cleaner or whip up your own colored grout cleaning product with items you already have.

With a bit of cleaner and light scrubbing action, your grout will look fresh and bright once again.

Photo of author


Katie Barton lives with her husband and three daughters in an 1800’s style log cabin in southern Ohio. She thinks cleaning is relaxing and is considered the organizing go-to person by her family and friends. She runs the blog Cabin Lane where she shares about cleaning, decluttering, and minimalism. See full biography here.

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